Best-selling Australian novelist Bryce Courtenay has died at the age of 79, his family has confirmed.
The South African-born Courtenay, who moved to Australia in the 1950s, had been suffering from stomach cancer.
He died yesterday at 11:00pm at his home in Canberra.
Courtenay was best known for The Power of One, his novel about a child’s journey to adulthood under South Africa’s apartheid regime.
The book, published in 1989, sold more than 8 million copies and was translated into 18 languages as well as being made into a Hollywood film.
UPDATE 23/11/12 12:54: Liberal Leader Zed Seselja has lead the obits:
UPDATE 23/11/12 14:21: The UC Vice Chancellor Stephen Parker has delivered a eulogy and directed attention to Bryce’s occasional address on being awarded an honorary doctorate:
UPDATE 23/11/12 17:42: Chief Minister Gallagher’s tribute is now up
ACT Chief Minister Katy Gallagher has acknowledged the life and contribution of Bryce Courtenay as an outstanding Australian and Canberran, upon hearing of his death today at aged 79.
“Bryce Courtenay was a gentle but great man, who was not only an exceptional novelist and Australian, but also a great friend and supporter of Canberra,” the Chief Minister said.
“A significant contributor to our community, Mr Courtenay was a keynote speaker at the ACTs first Older Persons Assembly, was an ACT Australia Day Ambassador 2012, as well as taking an active role in promoting our city for its upcoming centenary year.
“Mr Courtenay will be fondly remembered for his extraordinary contribution to Australia’s and indeed the world’s literary landscape. In a career spanning over 30 years, Mr Courtenay received many awards both in Australia and overseas.
“Our thoughts are with his wife, family and friends at this difficult time,” the Chief Minister concluded.